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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to John Adams

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00590 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Morristown, New Jersey Type: Letter Date: 10 May 1777 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 24.8 x 19.9 cm.

Summary of Content: Later copy. Knox writes to Adams, the Massachusetts representative to Continental Congress. Mentions obtaining cannon cast from the furnace at Salisbury, Massachusetts. Discusses a failed attempt by Colonel Stewart, aide-de-camp to General [Horatio] Gates, to obtain cannon for Ticonderoga, New York. Notes that Congress disapproved of the cannon price, thus Ticonderoga remains without the cannon. Writes, "I sincerely wish that the spirit of enterprise may animate our army; but you well know, my Dear Sir, during the winter past and the most part of the spring, we have had no army to be animated. The time may shortly arrive when I hope we shall receive your approbation in this way." Argues for the establishment of United States currency. Mentions the Bank of England and discusses the worth of paper money compared to specie.

Full Transcript: [draft]
To John Adams
Morristown 10 May 1777
Dear Sir
I am obliged to you for your two favors, one of the 25 Ulto, and the other of the 6 inst., both of which ...I have received.
I know not in what condition the Furnace at Salisbury is, but, from the reports which I have had of the ore, I should suppose they must be bungling workmen indeed if they do not succeed. Shall I inquire into the management of it, and, if practicable, endeavor to get some cannon cast there of different sizes?
There are a number of Furnaces in this state where I believe we may get some Cannon made; if it be agreeable to the Board of Ordinance, or the Congress, I will set some of them at work, and should, at the same time I am informed of it, be glad to know the price to be given.
Some time last winter the Congress sent Colonel Stewart, an Aid de Camp of General Gates, to New England for Cannon, &c, to be sent to Ticonderoga. He engaged with Mr Brown of Providence at the modest sum of £100 L.M. per Ton; the 18-18 pounds to be delievered the 10th March. Mr Brown cast 10 by the first of March, and would have had the whole comlete by the time fixed, but the Committee of Congress disapproved of the price agreed upon, and Ticonderoga remains without the Cannon. I believe the French Gentleman in Massachusetts has not succeeded very well, owing to the badness of the ore.
[2] I sincerely wish that the spirit of enterprise may animate our army; but you well know, My Dear Sir, during the winter past, and the most part of the spring, we have had no army to be animated. The time may shortly arrive when I hope we shall receive your approbation in this way.
As the establishment of our currency is a matter of the utmost importance, and every thing proper ought to be adopted to support it. pray would it not be practicable for all armed vessels, both public and private, to give bonds at the time of receiving their commissions to pay into the Treasury of the Continent all gold and silver taken in prizes, whether in specie or otherwise, to be funded, in the manner of the Bank of England, for the redemption of Continental money. Any sum so funded would give full credit and currency to three times the amount in paper.
I am, Dear Sir,
Your Most Obedt Huml Servt
Henry Knox.
[docket]
Knox to Jno Adams
Copied by Mr Steele
From Mr Chs Francis Adams
[illegible] - with his
kind permission
Recd Feb. 27 1857
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People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Adams, John, 1735-1826
Gates, Horatio, 1728-1806

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Fort TiconderogaRevolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryPresidentContinental CongressCongressArtilleryIndustryFortificationContinental ArmyFinanceEconomicsBankingCoins and CurrencyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign Policy

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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